Valley of Dry Bones by Sydney Schiff
May 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm, by Timna Burston
Sydney is a New York City based dancer, choreographer, Artistic Director of Sydney Schiff Dance Project and currently an Arts Fellow at Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. To hear more about her project, check out her website and facebook page!
In her own words:
For the last 5 years, I have been exploring the relationship between Judaism, Jewish texts and movement through contemporary dance. I spent this past year studying these ancient texts and later commentaries in a full time intensive program. How can I take ownership of this corpus of infinitely rich literature and use it to flesh out my art and my life?
Dry Bones: Resurrection of the Living follows the personal journeys of three 21st century women striving to take ownership of inherited traditions. I’ve commissioned an unconventional rearrangement of Antonin Dvořák’s New World Symphony, a masterpiece that is full of stories about people on journeys. Reconciling inherited traditions with life in a diverse modern world is a challenge for all of us. By exploring text study and storytelling in the Jewish tradition, it is my hope that Dry Bones will spark dialogue among all people, no matter their religious or secular affiliations.
In the Jewish tradition, the prophet Ezekiel is brought to a valley full of dry bones and prophecies over them to bring about their resurrection. He watches as the scattered bones are drawn together into skeletons, covered with flesh and skin, and filled with the breath of life. In that vein, can we look at the amelioration of our spiritual, emotional, intellectual and interpersonal lives as a process of gathering and reinvigoration?
Over the next year, it is my goal to develop Dry Bones into an evening length work. For now, I am presenting Dry Bones as a 15-minute excerpt that can both stand on its own and as part of a larger work.
To support this exciting new project, please visit the following website.